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Tammara Lynn Watts

Associate Professor of Head and Neck Surgery and Communication Sciences
Head & Neck Surgical Oncology

Selected Publications


Preclinical Evaluation of the ATR Inhibitor BAY 1895344 as a Radiosensitizer for Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Journal Article Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys · December 15, 2023 PURPOSE: Despite aggressive multimodal treatment that typically includes definitive or adjuvant radiation therapy (RT), locoregional recurrence rates approach 50% for patients with locally advanced human papillomavirus (HPV)-negative head and neck squamous ... Full text Link to item Cite

Differences in Receipt of Immunotherapy Treatment Among Patients With Head and Neck Cancer.

Journal Article JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg · October 1, 2023 IMPORTANCE: The US Food and Drug Administration approved immune checkpoint inhibitors (immunotherapy) for select cases of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) in 2016. However, it is unclear whether there are clinical or sociodemographic differenc ... Full text Link to item Cite

Reshaping Otolaryngology Through Workforce Heterogeneity

Journal Article Current Otorhinolaryngology Reports · September 1, 2023 Purpose of Review: The goal of this article is to serve as a resource for those seeking to identify targets for structural change to advance DEI in otolaryngology. Recent Findings: Best practices exist to advance DEI and can be modeled within otolaryngolog ... Full text Cite

Salvage Surgery.

Journal Article Otolaryngol Clin North Am · April 2023 The Department of Veterans Affairs Laryngeal Cancer Study propelled the combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy to the forefront of strategies used for the management of locally advanced laryngeal cancer. The organ preservation rate was 84%. Howe ... Full text Link to item Cite

Whole-Slide Cytometric Feature Mapping for Distinguishing Tumor Genomic Subtypes in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Whole-Slide Images.

Journal Article Am J Pathol · February 2023 Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a heterogeneous disease where, in advanced stages, clinical and pathologic stages do not correlate with outcome. Molecular and genomic biomarkers for HNSCC classification have shown promise for prognostic an ... Full text Open Access Link to item Cite

Human papillomavirus vaccine uptake among teens before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

Journal Article Hum Vaccin Immunother · December 30, 2022 It is unclear how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine uptake and which sociodemographic groups may have been most impacted. We aimed to assess differences in HPV vaccine uptake (initiation and completion) before and during the ... Full text Link to item Cite

Automated Nuclear Segmentation in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Pathology Reveals Relationships between Cytometric Features and ESTIMATE Stromal and Immune Scores.

Journal Article Am J Pathol · September 2022 The tumor microenvironment (TME) plays an important role in the progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Currently, pathologic assessment of TME is nonstandardized and subject to observer bias. Genome-wide transcriptomic approaches to ... Full text Link to item Cite

Differential Outcomes Among Survivors of Head and Neck Cancer Belonging to Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups.

Journal Article JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg · February 1, 2022 IMPORTANCE: Approximately 1 in 5 new patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) in the US belong to racial and ethnic minority groups, but their survival rates are worse than White individuals. However, because most studies compare Black vs White patients, l ... Full text Link to item Cite

Understanding the link between the oral microbiome and the development and progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Journal Article Current Opinion in Physiology · October 1, 2021 In recent years, the human oral microbiome has emerged as a significant target of interest and research focus because of the role microbiota in oral cavity may play in the progression, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases. Home to an abundant and distinct ... Full text Cite

Impairment of Tissue-Resident Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Chronic Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease.

Journal Article J Crohns Colitis · August 2, 2021 BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Little is known about the presence and function of tissue-resident mesenchymal stem cells [MtSCs] within the gastrointestinal mucosa in health and inflammatory bowel disease [IBD]. The contribution of MtSCs to the generation of inflamm ... Full text Link to item Cite

Activation PDGFR-α/AKT Mediated Signaling Pathways in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma by Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells Promotes Anti-apoptosis and Decreased Sensitivity to Cisplatin

Journal Article Frontiers in Oncology · April 28, 2020 Desmoplasia, a hallmark of a head and neck cancer, has both biologic and physiologic effects on cancer progression and chemotherapeutic response. Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs), also known as mesenchymal stromal progenitor cells, have been shown to ... Full text Cite

The pectoralis major myocutaneous flap

Journal Article Operative Techniques in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery · June 1, 2019 The pectoralis major myocutaneous flap has enjoyed a long history of over 40 years utilization to reconstruct a variety of head and neck defects. Despite the attractiveness, feasibility and success rates of free tissue transfer, the role of the pectoralis ... Full text Cite

Role of Google Glass in improving patient satisfaction for otolaryngology residents: a pilot study.

Journal Article Clin Otolaryngol · April 2017 OBJECTIVES: To demonstrate the feasibility and efficacy of the Google Glass as a tool to improve patient satisfaction and patient-physician communication for otolaryngology residents in the outpatient clinic setting. The primary outcome of the study was to ... Full text Link to item Cite

PDGF-AA mediates mesenchymal stromal cell chemotaxis to the head and neck squamous cell carcinoma tumor microenvironment.

Journal Article J Transl Med · December 8, 2016 BACKGROUND: The robust desmoplasia associated with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) suggests that the tumor microenvironment may be an important component in the pathophysiology of this cancer. Moreover, the high recurrence rate and poor clini ... Full text Link to item Cite

CD90(+) stromal cells are the major source of IL-6, which supports cancer stem-like cells and inflammation in colorectal cancer.

Journal Article Int J Cancer · April 15, 2016 IL-6 is a pleiotropic cytokine increased in CRC and known to directly promote tumor growth. Colonic myofibroblasts/fibroblasts (CMFs or stromal cells) are CD90(+) innate immune cells representing up to 30% of normal colonic mucosal lamina propria cells. Th ... Full text Link to item Cite

Microscopic thymoma and parathyroid adenoma: Rare combination of two distinct pathologies

Journal Article Rare Tumors · June 25, 2014 While there is an intimate anatomical and embryological relationship between the inferior parathyroid gland and thymus, concurrent pathology is rare. Three cases have been reported in the literature of a parathyroid adenoma in conjunction with a thymoma. W ... Full text Cite

Subcutaneous emphysema and pneumolabyrinth plus pneumocephalus as complications of middle ear implant and cochlear implant surgery.

Journal Article Ear Nose Throat J · July 2013 We conducted a retrospective case review at a tertiary academic medical center for the complications of pneumolabyrinth with pneumocephalus and subcutaneous emphysema after surgery for middle ear and cochlear implants. Charts of 76 cochlear implant and 2 m ... Full text Link to item Cite

Venous thromboembolism in patients with head and neck cancer after surgery.

Conference Head Neck · January 2013 BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to report the incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with head and neck cancer after surgery. METHODS: This was a single-institution, retrospective cohort: 134 patients underwent resection and simult ... Full text Link to item Cite

Malignant melanoma induces migration and invasion of adult mesenchymal stem cells.

Journal Article Laryngoscope · December 2012 OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: To determine if melanoma cells secrete chemotactic factors that result in the migration of multipotent stem cells. STUDY DESIGN: In vitro cell culture. METHODS: Chemotaxis and invasion of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) was dete ... Full text Link to item Cite

Preclinical Evaluation of the ATR Inhibitor BAY 1895344 as a Radiosensitizer for Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Journal Article Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys · December 15, 2023 PURPOSE: Despite aggressive multimodal treatment that typically includes definitive or adjuvant radiation therapy (RT), locoregional recurrence rates approach 50% for patients with locally advanced human papillomavirus (HPV)-negative head and neck squamous ... Full text Link to item Cite

Differences in Receipt of Immunotherapy Treatment Among Patients With Head and Neck Cancer.

Journal Article JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg · October 1, 2023 IMPORTANCE: The US Food and Drug Administration approved immune checkpoint inhibitors (immunotherapy) for select cases of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) in 2016. However, it is unclear whether there are clinical or sociodemographic differenc ... Full text Link to item Cite

Reshaping Otolaryngology Through Workforce Heterogeneity

Journal Article Current Otorhinolaryngology Reports · September 1, 2023 Purpose of Review: The goal of this article is to serve as a resource for those seeking to identify targets for structural change to advance DEI in otolaryngology. Recent Findings: Best practices exist to advance DEI and can be modeled within otolaryngolog ... Full text Cite

Salvage Surgery.

Journal Article Otolaryngol Clin North Am · April 2023 The Department of Veterans Affairs Laryngeal Cancer Study propelled the combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy to the forefront of strategies used for the management of locally advanced laryngeal cancer. The organ preservation rate was 84%. Howe ... Full text Link to item Cite

Whole-Slide Cytometric Feature Mapping for Distinguishing Tumor Genomic Subtypes in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Whole-Slide Images.

Journal Article Am J Pathol · February 2023 Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a heterogeneous disease where, in advanced stages, clinical and pathologic stages do not correlate with outcome. Molecular and genomic biomarkers for HNSCC classification have shown promise for prognostic an ... Full text Open Access Link to item Cite

Human papillomavirus vaccine uptake among teens before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

Journal Article Hum Vaccin Immunother · December 30, 2022 It is unclear how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine uptake and which sociodemographic groups may have been most impacted. We aimed to assess differences in HPV vaccine uptake (initiation and completion) before and during the ... Full text Link to item Cite

Automated Nuclear Segmentation in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Pathology Reveals Relationships between Cytometric Features and ESTIMATE Stromal and Immune Scores.

Journal Article Am J Pathol · September 2022 The tumor microenvironment (TME) plays an important role in the progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Currently, pathologic assessment of TME is nonstandardized and subject to observer bias. Genome-wide transcriptomic approaches to ... Full text Link to item Cite

Differential Outcomes Among Survivors of Head and Neck Cancer Belonging to Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups.

Journal Article JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg · February 1, 2022 IMPORTANCE: Approximately 1 in 5 new patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) in the US belong to racial and ethnic minority groups, but their survival rates are worse than White individuals. However, because most studies compare Black vs White patients, l ... Full text Link to item Cite

Understanding the link between the oral microbiome and the development and progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Journal Article Current Opinion in Physiology · October 1, 2021 In recent years, the human oral microbiome has emerged as a significant target of interest and research focus because of the role microbiota in oral cavity may play in the progression, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases. Home to an abundant and distinct ... Full text Cite

Impairment of Tissue-Resident Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Chronic Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease.

Journal Article J Crohns Colitis · August 2, 2021 BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Little is known about the presence and function of tissue-resident mesenchymal stem cells [MtSCs] within the gastrointestinal mucosa in health and inflammatory bowel disease [IBD]. The contribution of MtSCs to the generation of inflamm ... Full text Link to item Cite

Activation PDGFR-α/AKT Mediated Signaling Pathways in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma by Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells Promotes Anti-apoptosis and Decreased Sensitivity to Cisplatin

Journal Article Frontiers in Oncology · April 28, 2020 Desmoplasia, a hallmark of a head and neck cancer, has both biologic and physiologic effects on cancer progression and chemotherapeutic response. Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs), also known as mesenchymal stromal progenitor cells, have been shown to ... Full text Cite

The pectoralis major myocutaneous flap

Journal Article Operative Techniques in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery · June 1, 2019 The pectoralis major myocutaneous flap has enjoyed a long history of over 40 years utilization to reconstruct a variety of head and neck defects. Despite the attractiveness, feasibility and success rates of free tissue transfer, the role of the pectoralis ... Full text Cite

Role of Google Glass in improving patient satisfaction for otolaryngology residents: a pilot study.

Journal Article Clin Otolaryngol · April 2017 OBJECTIVES: To demonstrate the feasibility and efficacy of the Google Glass as a tool to improve patient satisfaction and patient-physician communication for otolaryngology residents in the outpatient clinic setting. The primary outcome of the study was to ... Full text Link to item Cite

PDGF-AA mediates mesenchymal stromal cell chemotaxis to the head and neck squamous cell carcinoma tumor microenvironment.

Journal Article J Transl Med · December 8, 2016 BACKGROUND: The robust desmoplasia associated with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) suggests that the tumor microenvironment may be an important component in the pathophysiology of this cancer. Moreover, the high recurrence rate and poor clini ... Full text Link to item Cite

CD90(+) stromal cells are the major source of IL-6, which supports cancer stem-like cells and inflammation in colorectal cancer.

Journal Article Int J Cancer · April 15, 2016 IL-6 is a pleiotropic cytokine increased in CRC and known to directly promote tumor growth. Colonic myofibroblasts/fibroblasts (CMFs or stromal cells) are CD90(+) innate immune cells representing up to 30% of normal colonic mucosal lamina propria cells. Th ... Full text Link to item Cite

Microscopic thymoma and parathyroid adenoma: Rare combination of two distinct pathologies

Journal Article Rare Tumors · June 25, 2014 While there is an intimate anatomical and embryological relationship between the inferior parathyroid gland and thymus, concurrent pathology is rare. Three cases have been reported in the literature of a parathyroid adenoma in conjunction with a thymoma. W ... Full text Cite

Subcutaneous emphysema and pneumolabyrinth plus pneumocephalus as complications of middle ear implant and cochlear implant surgery.

Journal Article Ear Nose Throat J · July 2013 We conducted a retrospective case review at a tertiary academic medical center for the complications of pneumolabyrinth with pneumocephalus and subcutaneous emphysema after surgery for middle ear and cochlear implants. Charts of 76 cochlear implant and 2 m ... Full text Link to item Cite

Venous thromboembolism in patients with head and neck cancer after surgery.

Conference Head Neck · January 2013 BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to report the incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with head and neck cancer after surgery. METHODS: This was a single-institution, retrospective cohort: 134 patients underwent resection and simult ... Full text Link to item Cite

Malignant melanoma induces migration and invasion of adult mesenchymal stem cells.

Journal Article Laryngoscope · December 2012 OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: To determine if melanoma cells secrete chemotactic factors that result in the migration of multipotent stem cells. STUDY DESIGN: In vitro cell culture. METHODS: Chemotaxis and invasion of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) was dete ... Full text Link to item Cite

Median nerve injury associated with radial forearm free flap harvest.

Journal Article Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg · December 2011 Full text Link to item Cite

Immediate eye rehabilitation at the time of facial nerve sacrifice.

Journal Article Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg · March 2011 OBJECTIVE: In the setting of known facial nerve sacrifice or injury, patients require precautions to prevent exposure keratitis and the morbidity that follows. One recommended treatment is surgical placement of a gold weight with or without lateral tarsal ... Full text Link to item Cite

Securing feeding tubes in head and neck surgery: Septal suture or bridle technique

Conference Laryngoscope · October 1, 2010 Educational Objective: At the conclusion of this presentation, the participants should be able to describe the various presentations of a thyroglossal duct cyst (TGDC), to expand their differential diagnosis of a midline neck mass with dysphagia, acute voi ... Full text Cite

Intraoperative bupivacaine for reduction of post-tonsillectomy pain: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study of 26 patients.

Journal Article Ear Nose Throat J · September 2009 We conducted a randomized, controlled, double-blind, prospective study to evaluate the effect of intraoperative bupivacaine injection on postoperative pain control following Bovie cautery-assisted tonsillectomy in 26 adults. Sixteen patients were injected ... Link to item Cite

Identification of distant metastases with PET-CT in patients with suspected recurrent head and neck cancer.

Journal Article Laryngoscope · April 2009 OBJECTIVES: To investigate the utility of positron-emission tomography/computed tomography (PET-CT) in identifying distant metastatic disease in patients with suspected recurrent head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC). STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective analy ... Full text Link to item Cite

Identification of distant metastases with positron-emission tomography-computed tomography in patients with previously untreated head and neck cancer.

Journal Article Laryngoscope · April 2008 OBJECTIVES: To investigate the utility of positron-emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) in identifying distant metastatic disease in patients with previously untreated head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) prior to definitive treatment. MA ... Full text Link to item Cite

Laryngeal nerve monitoring and minimally invasive thyroid surgery: complementary technologies.

Journal Article Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg · December 2007 OBJECTIVE: To determine the feasibility of the combined use of laryngeal nerve monitoring and minimally invasive thyroid surgery. DESIGN: Prospective, nonrandomized analysis of single-surgeon experience. SETTING: Academic institution. PATIENTS: Consecutive ... Full text Link to item Cite

Correlation of intraoperative parathyroid hormone levels with parathyroid gland size.

Journal Article Laryngoscope · November 2007 OBJECTIVES: To study the relationship of intraoperative intact parathyroid hormone levels (iPTH) with parathyroid adenoma weight and volume in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. METHODS: Retrospective evaluation of consecutive patients undergoing m ... Full text Link to item Cite

Role of the intestinal tight junction modulator zonulin in the pathogenesis of type I diabetes in BB diabetic-prone rats.

Journal Article Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A · February 22, 2005 Increased intestinal permeability has been observed in numerous human autoimmune diseases, including type-1 diabetes (T1D) and its' animal model, the BB-wor diabetic prone rat. We have recently described zonulin, a protein that regulates intercellular tigh ... Full text Link to item Cite

DNA transfection of macaque and murine respiratory tissue is greatly enhanced by use of a nuclease inhibitor.

Journal Article J Gene Med · 2002 BACKGROUND: Nuclease activity present within respiratory tissues contributes to the rapid clearance of injected DNA and therefore may reduce the transfection activity of directly injected transgenes. Most gene transfer technologies transduce or transfect m ... Full text Link to item Cite

Cell-free hemoglobin, oxygen off-load and vasoconstriction.

Journal Article Anasthesiol Intensivmed Notfallmed Schmerzther · November 2001 Full text Link to item Cite

Zonula Occludens Toxin (ZOT) inhibits intracellular trafficking of luciferase DNA in susceptible cells

Conference Journal of Investigative Medicine · January 1, 1999 Zonula occludnes toxin (Zot) is a protein elaborated by Vibrio Cholerae that modulates the opening of intercellular tight jucntions (tj). The mechanism by which Zot modulates tj involves rearrangement of the cytoskeleton with resultant polymerization of ac ... Cite